Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Who Invented Collage?

Picture of Picasso's Studio with collages, December 9, 1912

Last night, we created collages in the life drawing class that I attend.  We cut up different values of paper and added them to our drawings.

I generally think of collage as an activity I participated in during my second grade art class, but collage is underrated.  Many artists owe a huge debt to the technique of collage.  deKooning used collage techniques to help place images on his canvas and Bauhaus artists pasted photos over architectural drawings.  Surrealist artists used a collage method called cubomania in which an image is cut into squares, then reassembled at random. 

According to the Guggenheim, Braque was probably the first to use a collage technique in a drawing.  In 1912, Braque purchased a roll of simulated oak grain wallpaper and began cutting out pieces of the paper and attaching them to his charcoal drawings. Later that year, Picasso painted Still Life with Chair Caning where he  pasted a patch of oil cloth that had a commercially made design of chair cane.  Soon after, Picasso began cutting and using newspapers and labels in his work. The text from these clippings show a certain moment in history and are ironic and humorous within the context of the artwork.

Picasso, Still Life with Chair Canning, 1912

Picasso Bottle of Vieux Marc, Guitar, and Newspaper 1913

Picasso Musical Score and Guitar 1912

Picasso Guitar, music Score, Glass 1912

Picasso drew on newspaper text and photographs starting from childhood. Sometimes he cut these drawings out and saved them for future references in his drawings and paintings. In preparation for Guernica, Picasso cut apart newspapers for content and images.  The images in the clippings were drawn on and altered.


Picasso Guernica 1937

Alexander Rodchenki, Sunday Telegraph Reviews 1921

In 1921, Russian photographer Alexander Rodchenko (one of the founders of constructivism) pronounced traditional painting dead and discredited.  Here is his collage he worked with Kazimi Malevich which was on the cover of the magazine Sunday Telegraph Reviews.

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